What sentence, you decide.

Posted: May 17, 2010 in Law & Disorder

A new online interactive website has been launched in Kent to appease those of the public who think too many murderers and child molesters are still on our streets because they were handed ‘soft’ sentences by out-of-touch courts and judges.

On the website people can compare the outcome of real-life cases, with names changed, with their own sentencing suggestions. I bet hanging isn’t one sentence allowed.

One case already online conveniently appears to show most people agreed with the bench of magistrates shown in the interactive film on a man found guilty of criminal damage and given a community sentence. But a few wanted him banged up for three months.


The Kent Criminal Justice Board said it is concerned many people still don’t know what happens inside a real courtroom, nor appreciate how complex an apparently simple hearing can turn out to be. Presumably the taxpayer is paying for this interactive computer game instead of the money being spent on policing the UK.

The interactive guide to sentencing takes the viewer along the passage of justice step by step, explaining some of the usually hidden details.

It is currently live online and shows how the decision-making process works and then gives visitors to the site the chance to be the judge and pass sentence themselves.

Interim Chief Constable of Kent Adrian Leppard, who chairs the Kent Criminal Justice Board, said: “Improving people’s knowledge of how the criminal justice system in general, and in this case the courts in particular, work is a key factor in improving public confidence.”

Deputy chairman of the Magistrates’ Association John Fassenfelt, who sits on the Central Kent Bench, added: “These are designed to open the system up to communities and help them see, first-hand, the important part that magistrates courts play in serving their communities.”

Percy says: “Let’s see how long the website lasts once the ‘hang em’ and ‘flog em’ brigade start logging on!”


The number of civilian police staff has nearly doubled over the last decade.

The growth in police community support officers (PCSOs) and other civilian staff has outstripped the rise in fully sworn officers. It showed the average ratio of police officers to staff was 1.4 to 1 last year compared to 2.3 to 1 in 2000.

One force, Surrey, has more civilian staff, taking statements, interviewing people and gathering data, than warranted officers. By sheer coincidence it’s the Surrey force which has the worst detection rate in the country.

Nationally there has been a 16% increase in police officers but an 80% rise in police staff, 49% if PCSO’s are excluded from the total figure.


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